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Civil Society Organizations in Türkiye: Freedom of Association and the Right to Participation

In this report prepared within the scope of the Monitoring Freedom of Association Project supported by the European Union, we aimed to consider freedom of association and the right to participation as fundamental areas complementing each other and to portray the situation in Türkiye.
Author / Editor:
Tezcan Eralp Abay

Writers
Ezgi Karataş
Hakan Ataman
M. Murat Özçelebi
Publishing Date:
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The report consists of two main sections. The first section focuses on freedom of association and its impact on civil society organizations (CSOs). The second section, on the other hand, concentrates on the right of CSOs to participate in decision-making processes.

In this study conducted to understand the state of civil society in Türkiye, a mixed-method approach was adopted, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

The primary data in the report primarily relies on freedom of association inquiries made to the Presidency, 12 ministries, and the governorships of 30 cities with metropolitan status in Türkiye in addition to the findings of the "Field Research on Freedom of Association in Türkiye 2022" (Field Research 2022) conducted for CSOs operating in Türkiye in 2022. Additionally, information directly obtained from CSOs, the primary subjects of freedom of association and participation in decision-making processes, and from legal professionals involved in pursuing cases were examined. Furthermore, desk research was conducted by including official reports, data, CSO reports, and news articles published by official institutions and organizations as secondary data.

Within the scope of desk research, official data, news, and draft legislation were regularly monitored throughout the monitoring period. Additionally, a literature review was conducted on civil society, freedom of association, and decision-making processes. In addition to these, statistical data reported by international CSOs and intergovernmental organizations were followed to allow for comparisons and to utilize the data for analyses in the report. Furthermore, research papers, information notes, statements, and reports published by CSOs operating in Türkiye were monitored and relevant sections were included in the monitoring report.

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June 2024